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Apples are a popular fruit, and nearly everyone loves this luscious, red fruit, especially youngsters. Apples are packed with minerals and vitamins making them a nutritious choice at all times. They contain minimal calories and are also known for their healing properties.
Health Benefits of Apples for Children
The adage ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’ is not far from the truth given the numerous benefits that this fruit has to offer, particularly for kids. Here are some advantages of including apples in your child’s daily diet.
- They are full of carbohydrates which are essential to provide children with the energy they need to stay active every day.
- Apples contain Vitamins like A, B1, B2, and C as well as minerals such as iodine, phosphorous, iron, and calcium. All these are crucial in promoting healthy growth of muscle tissues, bones, skin and organs.
- Apples contain dietary fibre that is helpful in reducing levels of bad cholesterol.
- The antioxidants and phytonutrients found in this fruit are good for vision and help combat symptoms of asthma.
- Pectin is a soluble fibre found in apples that can help control diarrhoea while promoting digestion.
- Apples can balance sugar levels in the body and are good for keeping away diabetes.
- The Vitamin C in apples helps in tissue repair and the making of collagen. Besides strengthening bones, Vitamin C helps in healing wounds and preventing gallbladder disease.
- Quercetin that is found in the skin of apples can protect brain cells.
Some Interesting Facts About Apples
Aside from the health benefits of apples, here are some interesting apple tree and apple fruit facts for kids.
- There are over 7,500 different types of apples found across the world.
- There are five carpels or seed pockets in every apple.
- Apple trees can live to be a hundred and touch heights of 40 feet or more.
- The most number of apples are grown in China.
- When it’s time to harvest apples, they have to be picked by hand.
- The science of cultivation of apples is called pomology.
- One of the oldest varieties of apples is the Lady or Api apple.
- Apples are part of the rose family.
- It is said that the apple tree originated in the region between the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea.
- Around one-fourth of an apple is made of air which is why they float in water.
- There is archaeological evidence to prove that humans have been relishing apples since 6500 BC.
- The largest apple on record weighed 1.4 kg.
Nutritional Value Of Apples
A medium-sized apple has less than 100 calories and no fat, sodium, or cholesterol content. Take a look at the following chart for detailed information about the nutritive values of apples.
|Amount per serving||Daily value % based on 2,000 calorie diet|
|Total carbohydrates – 25 g||8 %|
|Dietary fibre – 4 g||17%|
|Sugars – 19 g|
|Protein – 0 g||0%|
|Cholesterol – 0 mg||0%|
|Sodium – 0 mg||0%|
|Total fat – 0 g||0%|
Easy Apple Recipes for Kids
Besides eating apples raw, there are plenty of ways in which apples can be used to keep children interested in consuming at least a couple of servings of this fruit each day. Instead of just apple juice for kids, here are some recipes for you to try out:
1. Apple Crumble With Vanilla Ice Cream
- Six crumbled oatmeal cookies
- ½ cup whipped cream
- ½ cup vanilla ice cream
- ¼ tsp cinnamon powder
- ¼ cup stewed apples
Take all the ingredients except two of the cookies in a blender and make it into a smoothie. Pour it into serving bowls and top off with remaining cookies. You can change the recipe to include your favourite flavour of ice cream and more cookies or apples depending on the child’s preference
2. Individual Baked Apples
- Four firm apples
- 8 tbsp( Teaspoon) jam
- 4 tbsp apple juice or water
- Microwave safe baking dish
Core each of the apples and peel them about one-third of the way. Pour the apple juice or water into the bottom of the baking dish and then place each of the apples in this with the peeled side up. Pour about two tablespoons of jam into the centre of each apple. Cover the dish with plastic that has been pierced for vents or waxed paper. Bake in a microwave on high for about five minutes or till the apples become tender.
3. Yummy Apple Crisps
- Four green apples; peeled and sliced into thin pieces
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup oats
- ½ cup flour
- ¾ teaspoon cinnamon powder
- ¾ teaspoon nutmeg powder
- 6 tbsp butter
- Baking dish
- Mixing bowl
Pre-heat the oven to 375° and grease the baking dish. Then place the apples in the baking dish. Mix rest of the ingredients well in a bowl and then sprinkle this mixture over the apples. Bake it for 40 minutes or till the topping turns golden brown.
4. Savoury Apple and Squash Soup
- 1 ½ kg butternut squash
- 2 Granny Smith apples
- 3 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
- 2 cups chopped onions
- Three tsp garam masala powder/
- 2 tbsp butter
- One tsp salt
- Pepper to taste
Peel the squash and de-seed it before cutting into cubes. Core the apples, peel them, and cube. Place a large pot on the stove and melt the butter. Then add the chopped onions and sauté until translucent. Put in the curry powder and stir. Next, add squash, apples, stock, salt, and stir till it comes to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for around two minutes. Check to see if squash and apples are tender. If not, boil for some more time. Puree this and then simmer again before adding pepper. Serve hot.
Usually available all year round, there are numerous varieties in the market, and each has a distinctive taste of its own. So, choose the ones that are a favourite with your children and encourage them to munch on one regularly. Apples that are eaten raw with the skin offer the most nutritive benefits, but for younger kids peeling is a good idea since pesticides might have been used and washing will not help clean it fully.
This information is just a guide and not a substitute for medical advice from a qualified professional.